Selling Stolen Goods

I’ve pointed out the tendency for law enforcers to focus their efforts on pursuing perpetrators of profitable crimes. Law enforcers dump a ton of resources into fighting people who drive faster than the arbitrarily posted speed limit, violate the often ridiculously convoluted parking restrictions, and enjoy consuming verboten chemical substances. However, those same law enforcers will let rape kits stack up in warehouse, barely lift a finger to find a murderer, or respond in any way to a property crime. Fortunately, law enforcers have found a way to make fighting property crime profitable. Unfortunately, it involves them auctioning off the property once it has been recovered instead of returning it to its rightful owner:

A Pueblo couple’s car was stolen in June and later recovered by Colorado Springs police officers.

According to records obtained by the I-TEAM, Mary and Clyde Antrim’s Ford Crown Victoria sat in a police impound lot for more than a month—eventually racking up fees.

The couple says cops never called them to pick up their car. Instead, News 5 Investigates discovered police planned to sell it at an auction.

Colorado Springs police have nothing to say on camera about this case, but Mary Antrim is talking after she says police would not give her car back or answer her phone calls.

When she found out her car was going to be sold at auction, she called News 5 Investigates for help.

The most obvious thing that I feel I need to point out is that the Antrims shouldn’t be required to pay fees to have the law enforcers they are required to pay taxes to fund recover their property. Any costs incurred by the recovery effort should be paid by the thief. But that’s now how justice works in this country. Even though you’re forced to pay taxes to fund law enforcers, you’re also often forced to pay additional fees on top of that. This form of double dipping is fairly profitable for police departments but not as profitable as auctioning off a car, which is why the Colorado Springs Police Department probably “forgot” to inform the Antrims that their car was recovered and currently being held in an impound lot.

This situation isn’t even unique. Law enforcers have profited off of hocking recovered property before and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Colorado Springs Police Department gets away with hocking the Antrim’s car. There is precedence for doing so and the courts are usually pretty good about backing the badge.